Air Date: March 12, 2014
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: John Stemberger
John Stemberger is the Chairman of the Board of Trail Life USA, a new scouting alternative. John is an Eagle Scout and has served as a Scoutmaster. He is the founder of the OnMyHonor.Net movement. John is also an Orlando attorney and serves as President of the Florida Family Policy Council.
Trail Life USA began from a meeting between John and a friend of his who is the National Commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America. John asked where things stood regarding the Boy Scouts membership standards issue. His friend said that the organization had the issue locked down and that the Scouts would not allow open homosexuality. He also noted that the Boy Scouts were being pounded by the activists via letters, e-mail and boycotts. John then asked his friend what his thoughts were if he (John) would start a national movement to show that America supports scouting and that would thank Scout leaders for standing their ground regarding what it means to be morally straight.
Six months later news came out that the Boy Scouts were going to open the debate back up. John called his friend back to find out what was going on. After all, John was originally told the situation was ‘locked down’. John was told that everything’s changed. So instead of creating a movement that supports scouting, John created a movement that opposed Scout leadership called, ‘On My Honor’, a national group of Eagle Scouts, Scout Masters, scouting alumni, donors and parents. The idea was to keep sex and politics out of scouting.
Through the ‘On My Honor’ efforts, John tried communicating with scouting delegates but did not prevail. John believes the reason for this is because the Scouts new pro-gay stance was not a decision made by the troops. Instead it’s the professionals that made the decision because they pick the delegates.
Out of this decision, a coalition met in Louisville, Kentucky, with religious leaders from faith denominations, scouting veterans as well as pro-family and child advocates. They formulated what is now Trail Life USA, a Christian, faith-based organization.
It didn’t take long, however, for the first attack to come. That first salvo came from the Associated Press when they ran a photograph that appeared to compare the efforts of Trail Life USA to the tactics of Nazi Germany.